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Bone mass in female cross-country skiers: relationship between muscle strength and different BMD sites.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.
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2000 (English)In: Calcified Tissue International, ISSN 0171-967X, E-ISSN 1432-0827, Vol. 67, no 3, 199-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this cross-sectional study, bone mass and muscle strength of the thigh were investigated in 16 Caucasian female cross-country skiers, age 16.2 +/- 0.3 years, that had been ski-training for 6.4 +/- 1.8 years (range 3-9 years) and were now training for 6.3 +/- 2.4 hours/week (range 3-12 hours). They were compared with 16 nonactive females, age 16.4 +/- 0.7 years. The groups were matched according to age, weight, height, and pubertal status. Areal bone mineral density (BMD) was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, in the total body, head, both total humerus and humerus diaphyses, spine, and in the right femoral neck, greater trochanter, femoral diaphysis, distal femur, proximal tibia, and tibia diaphysis. Bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) was also calculated for the femoral neck and humerus diaphyses. Isokinetic muscle strength of the quadricep and hamstring muscles was measured in an isokinetic dynamometer. Compared with the controls, the cross-country skiing group had significantly higher BMD in the right whole humerus (6.9%), left whole humerus (9.2%), left humerus diaphysis (8.1%), femoral neck (8.9%), greater trochanter (9.3%), femur diaphysis (7.6%), and BMAD of the femoral neck (+19.4%). In the nonactive group there were significant side-to-side differences in BMD of the whole humeri, humerus diaphyses, and BMAD of the humerus diaphyses (3.1%, 5.4%, and 8.8% higher in the right arm, respectively). No such differences were found in the cross-country skiing group. Lean body mass was significantly higher in the cross-country skiers (21.7%), and fat mass (-25.5%) and body fat percent (-28.0%) were significantly lower compared with the nonactive group. There were, however, no significant differences in concentric peak torque of the thigh muscles between the two groups. Stepwise regression analyses revealed that BMI was the best predictor of several sites in the nonactive group. In the cross-country group, on the other hand, muscle strength was a strong predictor of BMD, both at adjacent and more distant BMD sites. In conclusion, it seems that this type of endurance training is associated with a site-specific higher bone mass that may be associated with the type and magnitude of loading during off-season and during the main sports activity, cross-country skiing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 67, no 3, 199-206 p.
Keyword [en]
Bone mass, Bone mineral apparent density, Female cross-country skiers, Muscle strength
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33479DOI: 10.1007/s002230001117PubMedID: 10954773OAI: diva2:313378
Available from: 2010-04-26 Created: 2010-04-26 Last updated: 2012-03-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Bone mass in the young athlete
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bone mass in the young athlete
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Bone mass and bone size accumulate during childhood and adolescence and peak in the twenties. The obtained peak bone mass has been suggested to be a major determinant of bone mass even in the very elderly. Although, genetic factors are the main determinants, environmental and lifestyle factors also play a crucial role in modulating maximal bone mass. Assessing these lifestyle factors would be of great importance for the intervention strategies against osteoporosis.  

The first aim of this thesis was to compare the bone mass and bone size in male and female young adults on a high level of physical activity with males or females on a low level of physical activity. Furthermore, it also aimed to investigate the influence of pubertal maturity, menstrual disturbances, and different body constitutional factors on bone mass and size during adolescence and young adulthood.  

The female activity groups consisted of cross-county skiers, soccer players, and rope skippers. Compared to their age-matched inactive controls, all these athletic groups demonstrated a significantly higher bone mineral density (BMD) at those sites subjected to the sport-specific loading. Rope-skipping, a very high impact activity was associated with a higher bone size, preferentially in the lower extremity, suggesting an effect of weight-bearing activity also on bone geometry. The effect of menstrual disturbances was evaluated in a group of long-distance runners, where amenorrheic runners had significantly lower BMD in both trabecular and also cortical bone in the lower extremity compared to eumenorrheic runners, suggesting that weight-bearing activity cannot compensate for the shortfall of reduced estrogen levels.  

The male activity groups consisted of ice hockey players and badminton players. Compared to their age-matched controls, both athletic groups demonstrated a significantly higher BMD at those sites subjected to the sport-specific loading. Especially badminton was associated with a high BMD, suggesting that physical activity, including jumps in unusual directions has a great osteogenic potential.  

The main determinants of BMD in both male and females were, except for type of physical activity, activity, muscle strength, height, and different body constitutional factors. However, the relationships with muscle strength and body constitution were somewhat weaker in the athletic groups, especially in the males, indicating that impact forces may be of greater importance in regulating bone mass in highly trained athletes. Yet bone size was largely determined by parameters related to body size and less strongly to physical activity. In a prospective study on adolescent boys, the changes in bone mass during late puberty were mainly accounted for by growth and development, including height and pubertal maturation, and less to physical activity level. Thus, the osteogenic effect from physical activity seems to be of importance for bone mass achievement predominantly before late puberty.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 1999. 300 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 635
bone mass, bone area, physical activity, muscle strength, body constitution, amenorrhea, puberty, adolescents, young aduts
National Category
Clinical Medicine Orthopedics Other Clinical Medicine
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-52747 (URN)91-7191-726-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
1999-12-10, Kempesalen, IKSU-hallen, Umeå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-03-05 Created: 2012-03-01 Last updated: 2012-03-05Bibliographically approved

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